While the modern material men are splitting nano-hairs (but not the
bills for billions) over at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland,
what are we to make of the ongoing and unfunded need for fashioning new forms
of representation for life itself?
I have just read the
document from CERN providing the FAQs for the LHC experiment. Easy to read too (see url below).
But what it does not say in the CERN FAQ is this – what are the real
social and environmental costs of this massive experiment?
What, for example, is the carbon footprint for constructing
and running the massive accelerator and for all the associated expenses (including the careers of scientists in associated research centres around the world; including airconditioned offices; air travel and the rest of it). Just what is the real cost?.
And what counter-measures has CERN put into place – or proposes to be put in place – to offset these negative social and environmental impacts? We must insist on best practice from CERN.
Aren’t there more pressing issues on our home planet which require
our attention at this crucial life-juncture than re-creation of mini big bangs?
Some may be concerned about the risk of black holes. “Should we risk the creation of even tiny
black holes in the Higgs field, Professor?” Could this be the fabric of
creation itself, and due some respect from a heritage angle?
We are assured this is not a risk.
But, given our planetary resources are limited, isn’t there
something else we should be attending to at this time which is of equal – if not greater – importance?
Can we not at least ask the question and have it seriously debated by our Brothers-in-science?
With nuclear energy having failed to deliver its miracles
(but offering much in the way of destruction in direct and indirect forms)
there are good reasons for questioning the self-privileging which attaches to
Nulcear energy is not the solution.We need to reform our Ways. That will include shedding the constricting skins provided ready-made (one size only though) by the modern nation state.
There are especially good reasons for insisting on a very
different set of research priorities of such massive scales as the LHC
Should we be more focused, at this time, on finding ways to
slow down and stop the rate of species extinction on our home planet? The web of living things on earth is the very fabric of life!
Isn’t this major issue one of the real challenges which faces us at this time. Those other species are part of the generative context which shapes our form of life.
Without them, what form of life – if any – we will take?
And, another challenge requiring urgent attention, is the
need to plan our economies and ways of living to function with a declining
supply of energy in the form of oil.
We should be doing this now. We should be moving on this now. But this will require us to change our self-image from that placed upon us by the narrow cash-flow ambitions of others. Our politicians will not query the forces of that fetish they call "the market."
We should now be
focusing on task of reforming our sense of who we are and how we relate to the
rest of life.
Rather than ramping up the revs to generate 800 million
sub-atomic collisions, we need to creatively fuse a new cosmology – one that reconnects our
singing dancing Being with our living Cosmos – and which has a role for us in keeping the cosmos in the very best of well-Being.
For more on the Large Hadron Collider experiment from the
CERN point of view see: